When considering an entry-level sales job, it’s natural to wonder if you have the skills necessary to “make it.” The truth is, you’ve already learned from your parents and teachers some of the skills common among the greatest of salespeople.
Moms tell kids to “smile,” especially when meeting new people – and they’re actually right about this one. Now that you’re all grown up, the same thing goes. As a salesperson, greeting new prospects with a friendly but relaxed smile will set the tone for the entire interaction.
That’s a good question
Your former teachers will affirm: it’s good to ask questions. When dealing with customers, questions are critical – specifically open-ended questions to get the customer talking.
Great questions are those that are open-ended and geared toward uncovering the challenges your prospects are facing as they relate to your product/service. This will allow you to frame your sales pitch to their needs.
Are you listening?
But even if you ask great questions as a salesperson, it won’t matter if you’re not acting like an active listener. If you’re sorting through papers or glancing at your cell phone, the prospect will likely feel disrespected. Active listening is done best with an open posture, leaning forward and relaxed with good eye contact. Take notes when you need to remember key information, but don’t spend too much time looking at your notebook instead of at the prospect. Nod occasionally to show understanding, and repeat key thoughts for added affirmation.
Do your homework
So, you asked great questions, positioned yourself as an active listener, and then wowed them with your pitch. But now your prospect has questions. If you don’t know your product inside and out, then you won’t be prepared to answer. Do your homework, study your product, and be prepared to state your case and effectively respond to questions or objections. Just like your teachers promised, homework can make the difference between a pass and fail.
Thanks to your parents and teachers, you already have these skills, and you’ve been practicing them for years. So go ahead—put your previous learning experiences to good use in your entry-level sales job. It could all be worth it!